Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The first strawberry flower!!!!!!!

First strawberry flower!

Oh, annnnd.... it's snowing.

Annnnd.... It's snowing.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Garden 4.12.15

Emma and I had a glorious day in the garden today.  It's just so nice to have my own yard!  It's also nice to have established plantings- everything is really blooming.  The flowering quinces are so beautiful right now.

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I did the first grass-mowing of the year yesterday, and it took less than half an hour!  Much nicer than the vast expanse of grass I had at the old house.  I also tidied up the beds that I planted a couple weeks ago.  Just a little weeding needed- I'm still winning against the grass!

Here's the greens bed- left to right there's two kinds of lettuce (2 rows each), spinach (3 rows), and pak choi (1 row).  All my little greenlets have at least two sets of real leaves.  The strawberry bed is behind the greens, and there are new leaves shooting out all over.

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The onions and peas are also doing great.  The peas are about 2 inches tall and I put some trellises up today.  Possibly not tall enough, but I went with the scraps of cattle fencing I found in the yard for now.

All the onions are up and most are 6-8 inches tall.  I went ahead and planted the rest of the leftover sets that came in the bag, just 'cause. Don't want to waste them! I put some between the rows of onions, and the last few in with the pak choi.

The fourth bed, behind the peas and onions, will eventually have tomatoes.

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I also tidied up my big herb boxes, adding some new soil to the tops to rejuvenate them.  I trimmed back the thymes, pulled out the rosemary and mint that didn't make it through the winter, and the leftover chamomile stalks from last year.  In those now-empty boxes, I planted a new rosemary, and lemon balm and peppermint clumps that I got from people on Freecycle.

So from left to right, this picture shows:  a curly willow tree that came with the house (some branches died over the winter, but it's leafing out now, Anne!), a rectangular planter in which I planted pansies and Stargazer lilies today, a strawberry jar I planted with extra runners a couple weeks ago, a barely visible round blue ceramic planter that I planted lily-of-the-valley in today (I have A Vision of how that's going to look when it's mature, and it's lovely...), then the square pots with regular thyme, rosemary, lemon balm, peppermint, and lemon thyme.

Someday I'll replace these five-year-old cheapo plastic planters that are getting brittle and shattery from UV exposure, but they have at least one more good year left.

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I also started three new planters this year, big round half-barrels.  I've always wanted half-barrel planters, and since they were on sale I got some.  I filled them with a nice mix of topsoil and compost, and Emma and the neighbor kids spent a fun hour digging in the future tomato bed to find worms to put in these and the herb planters.  These kids love worms!  They're going to be sad when I plant the tomatoes and they can't dig in that bed anymore.

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I don't have the planting plan all worked out for these yet, but I want to try growing ginger, turmeric, and lemongrass this year, and each barrel will get one of those in addition to some veggies and flowers.

That leads me to this:

Ginger experiment day 1.

I got a great looking piece of ginger at the grocery store this week, and I potted it up today. I'm starting it in a small pot inside the house, because it's still too cold at night to have it outside.  I'll put it in the biggest half barrel when the weather warms up.  The starting weight of the rhizome is 270 grams, and we'll see if there's any increase by fall.  It's an experiment.

I also have a little lemongrass plant inside already, and have ordered a piece of turmeric rhizome that should be here Monday or Tuesday.  Experiments everywhere!

Ginger experiment day 1

So that was the gardening I did today.  I also just walked around to bask in the prettiness of the yard.

Apple blossoms
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A drift of red tulips with one yellow
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So pretty!
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SO PRETTY, I say!
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Another drift of red tulips and narcissus in the front yard
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And more red tulips being friendly with the neighbor's yellow ones
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A gorgeous red and yellow one
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One of the last standard daffodils
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But a very pretty frothy double narcissus opened yesterday
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and these are so cheerful.
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My bowl of primroses on the front porch is blooming like crazy, and they have almost doubled in size.
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So that's my yard today.  :-)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Garden 3.22.15

One of the (many) things I'm most excited about with my new house is that I can have a garden.  The back yard is fenced, and THIS year, I am going to grow more than just tomato plant stumps.  Ha HA! Take that, deer!

Two weekends ago, Emma and I weeded and turned over the soil in two of the four raised beds and planted onions, peas, pak choi, spinach, and two kinds of lettuce.  Those are all coming up now.  See the little green rows in the picture!

This past weekend, I cleaned out the third empty bed, and attacked the overgrown strawberry bed.  I dug out an entire wheelbarrow-full of evil grass runners, and removed a five-gallon bucket full of extra strawberry runners.  Those made some people on Freecycle very happy, and hopefully what's left in my garden will produce well. 

Strawberry bed tidied.

Removing the grass runners was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It was oddly satisfying to pull out those great long strings of grass buried in the beds. The effort was aided greatly by two tools, seen in this picture (which I now see is out of focus, sorry). 

Best grass attackers.

When I moved in, I had a shovel, a trowel, a garden rake, and a leaf rake.  I bought the big spading fork because I thought it would be a lot easier for turning the compost pile than a shovel.  Turns out it's also fabulous for fluffing up raised beds and exposing grass roots.

That gem in my hand, though?  I bought that hand cultivator in a thrift store for a dollar, on a whim, because I've never had one and it was in good shape.  If I hadn't had that, the strawberry bed would still be full of grass.  It got all in around the plants without disturbing them (except for the ones that had to come out), and easily loosened up the grass runners so I could pull them out.  I love it.  I have named it Claw.

It feels really good to know that right now, at this exact moment in time, I'm ahead of the weeds.  It won't last, but right now, I'm winning.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Eyelets

I had a marathon 4.5-hour eyelet session this evening, and finished all 183 eyelets inside the kloster/buttonhole blocks across the bottom edge of the curtain. 

Row of eyelets finished!

This puts me at roughly 11 hours of effort on the curtain so far, with one 46-inch "row" of stitching complete.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Curtain progress

Here's some progress on my curtains.  Well, only one curtain so far!

Curtain progress

It doesn't look like much yet, but I've got the klosters and buttonhole stitches done across the entire 46-inch bottom edge.

Curtain progress

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Finished edelweiss doily!

Ta Da!

Finished hardanger doily

I'm so happy with the way this came out.  I love the abundance of edelweiss.  After I finished the two rows of five, I agonized about whether to put them on the inner rows of four as well.  I'm glad I did.

Finished hardanger doily

This pattern evolved as I went along- I just put in what seemed right.

Finished hardanger doily

This was so much fun.

Finished hardanger doily

Thursday, February 26, 2015